Steve's Reviews > Hullabaloo in the Guava Orchard

Hullabaloo in the Guava Orchard by Kiran Desai
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's review
Jun 13, 12

Read in September, 1999

His auspicious birth, coinciding with the coming of a monsoon to bring to an end an interminable drought augurs a life of great achievements for Sampath Chawla. However, his colourful dismissal from his menial job in the post office just compounds his father's grwoing disappointment. Desai then wrily illustrates the farce of Sampath's self-imposed exile in a nearby guava tree being misconstrued as the actions of a mystical guru. The novel then explodes with a cast of eccentric characters who attempt to profit from or expose this 'cause celebre', while a band of marauding alcoholic monkeys lead to a series of incredible strategems to end their anarchic trail of disorder. The surreal ending of a kafkaesque metamorphosis detracts from the enjoyment of this romp through small-town India.

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